------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 06 November 1999 Issue : 05/45 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + CE addresses 1st News Conference: Musharraf hints at referendum + CE defines NSC functions: Governors given CMs' powers + Ehtesab net to include military, says Musharraf + CE briefs EU mission on causes of takeover + Trade bodies seek incentives to clear dues + US, Russia want civilian rule in Pakistan + US following wait-and-see policy: Milam + CE reassures press of freedom + Delhi seeks postponement of SAARC summit + US says Pakistan training militants + C'wealth chief softens stance on Pakistan + Ehtesab: Asif, Benazir top list of non-PML leaders + Special courts to try cases of accountability --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Increase in POL prices inevitable: Dr Gulfraz + SBP unfreezes politicians' FC accounts + IT deduction on savings profit stayed + Govt may allow private sector to import wheat + Stocks suffer fresh fractional decline + Mutual funds trading at discounts + CBR pays 32 per cent more refunds + Tribunal refuses to delay Hubco case + Fresh assessment of farm tax potential likely + Tax exemption demanded for senior citizens + ADB allocates Rs0.35m for farm growth + Pakistan for SAARC moot on schedule, says FO EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Storming of the Supreme Court Ardeshir Cowasjee + The new Samaritans Ayaz Amir + In-laws and outlaws Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Pakistan take on Australia in first Test today + Akhtar Rasool resigns from PHF presidentship + Video footage of Shoaib has no official status: ACB + Waugh hits back at Akram's comments

CE addresses 1st News Conference: Musharraf hints at referendum
M. Ziauddin and Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Nov 1: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, has 
listed his government's priorities which include economic recovery, 
provincial integration and institution building.

Speaking at his first news conference on Monday, he talked of 
almost every issue - from accountability to establishing 
grassroots-level democracy and making Pakistan a strong federation 
in which the provinces would no more suffer from a sense of 

For conducting an across-the-board horizontal and vertical 
accountability he announced the formation of a national 
accountability bureau (NAB).

He said he proposed to constitute a commission which would go 
through the 1973 Constitution and make recommendations for bringing 
it in line with the needs of a modern, Islamic, democratic state.

Responding to a reporter's query, he said the question of holding a 
referendum to give legitimacy to his government was one of the 
options which was being studied by the National Security Council.

He said he had declared his assets and thought the others who were 
in the government with him and those who would join it subsequently 
would follow suit.

Economic agenda

The general tried to avoid as much as possible answering questions 
about details of his economic agenda and the fate of Nawaz Sharif. 
He said the new finance team led by Shaukat Aziz would be framing 
the economic policy which would then be sent to the NSC before 
implementation. On the issue of Nawaz Sharif he sidestepped almost 
all questions, saying his legal team was still in the process of 
looking into the cases against the ousted prime minister.

At one point in order to lend credibility to his answer he even 
admitted that the only time he had failed a test was when he 
appeared in the army's legal examination, "though I passed the 
second time round."

The CE said he believed in the freedom of the press and implied 
that he would make it possible for the press to have access to all 
information except that which impinged on national security. He 
said his government would function in a state of total transparency 
and it would have nothing to hide from the national press.

He said he was forced to remove the Nawaz government because it was 
trying to destabilize the armed forces and creating differences in 
the ranks and file of the army. "I decided not to allow the 
previous rulers to play with the institution of the army and 
removed them from the political scene."

Gen Musharraf said he did not know why the ousted prime minister 
had tried to dismiss him when he was on an official visit to Sri 
Lanka. "The way he (Nawaz Sharif) tried to dismiss me was wrong as 
you have to follow set rules even while removing a peon from his 

No timeframe

He said he had a lot of challenges facing him and "that is why I 
cannot give you any timeframe for a return to democracy." The army 
would first achieve its objectives of reviving the economy, 
national integration and institution building before taking the 
next step of restoring democracy.

The CE appeared reluctant to make these objectives subservient to a 
timetable. Rather, he appeared to have decided to make his 
objectives dictate his timetable for a return to democracy. "The 
economy has collapsed and it needs to be drastically improved 
through long-term and viable policies," he said, adding that he 
would frame such polices as would attract foreign investment.

Listing a four-point agenda for economic revival, the chief 
executive said his government would try to stabilize the economy, 
maintain continuity in the economic policies, re-establish 
credibility and sincerity.

He thought these steps would restore the investors' confidence and 
he expressed the hope that overseas Pakistanis as well as local and 
foreign investors would come forward and join in national 

He said Pakistanis had lost their dignity and honour in the comity 
of nations because of what the past governments had been doing and 
that it would be one of his endeavours to correct this situation 
and enable the nation to walk with its head high in the world.

While talking about national integration, he mentioned the low 
representation of the smaller provinces in the federal jobs and 
said you cannot maintain the spirit of the federation with such 
practices. He also gave the indication that they would be treated 
on a par in the distribution of development projects.

To a question, he said he had no objection to building the Kalabagh 
dam but would like to take all the provinces on board before taking 
any decision on the matter.

He said his government would try to depoliticize the institutions 
as a first step and then would try to appoint deserving people on 
merit to run these institutions.

"There will be a de-politicization of all the institutions and even 
we would consider changes in the state corporations," he said, 
adding that the government was considering advertising major posts 
in the state-run corporations with a view to having honest and 
professional people.

Small loan seekers

He said his government had no plans to touch small loan seekers and 
that only the big fish will be caught. In this regard, he added, 
the NAB had already started working. He said records, including 
that of the ousted prime minister, were being collected and 

The chief executive pointed out that speedy trial courts would soon 
start working under a proper legal system. "About 322 people have 
eaten over Rs220 billion which we intend to recover at all costs".

Paraphrasing a Churchillian quote, the General said: "Never before 
in human history so few have plundered so much from so many".

To a question, Gen Musharraf said the national economic strategy 
was being finalized which would be launched after the approval by 
the National Security Council.

He said that one of the priorities was to have devolution of power 
- from Centre to provinces and then to the district level with a 
view to making the local bodies institutions more effective. He 
said the government needed to look into the role of the DCs, SPs 
and other such officers. He said his think-tank would propose 
changes in the administrative structure of the country to be 
formally approved by the NSC.

He held out the assurance that he would include women in all the 
provincial and federal cabinets and also ensure their presence in 
the local bodies.

The CE forcefully said he would not allow anyone to exploit the 
religion. "Let us make sure that there will be no political 
exploitation of religion and those who would do so would be dealt 
with strictly," he warned. He said his government believed in Quran 
and Sunnat and would seek guidance from the principles of Islam.

"We all are Muslims and we should promote good intentions and 
truth," he said, adding that there was no need to have any debate 
on the religion.

When asked how a moderate leader like him would lead a hardline 
nation like Pakistan, his answer was: "It is a difficult question 
to answer".

Asked when would cases against the deposed prime minister be 
finalized, he said courts would decide about Nawaz Sharif.

To a question, he said the army would not be allowed to interfere 
in the civilian affairs but the overall monitoring of the 
performance of the government would be done by the army, which, he 
said, was spread all over the country.

He again rejected the idea that there was a martial law in the 
country. "we are not working under any martial law system. It is a 
mixed system."

To a question, he said his government was trying to have good 
relations with Iran, Afghanistan and India and added that there was 
no change in the foreign policy of Pakistan. He further said that 
Islamabad wanted to co-exist in the region with India peacefully. 
"We want to discuss and sort out all outstanding issues with India, 
including the core issue of Kashmir."

He said his government would like to enter into dialogue with India 
on Kashmir or any other matter which India wants to discuss 
simultaneously but it would have no dialogue with India which does 
not cover Kashmir.

Responding to another question, he said Pakistan believed in 
minimum nuclear deterrence. "We already have minimum deterrence in 
conventional weapons and we would try to maintain the same in 
nuclear weapons."

When he was reminded about hostile statements by Indian leaders 
against Pakistan, he said: "Hostility will be met with hostility 
and peace will be met with peace".

He claimed that Nawaz Sharif had harmed the national interest by 
sharing secrets of the country with India. In this regard he 
referred to the statement of former Indian prime minister Inder 
Kumar Gujral which said Nawaz Sharif used to talk to him by 
telephone late in the night only to inform him about the activities 
of the Kashmiri freedom fighters.

"What Nawaz Sharif has done with former chief of the army staff Gen 
Jahangir Karamat is before everybody," he said, denying that the 
ousted prime minister was bringing about some structural changes in 
the army by having him dismissed.

He said he had no idea whether there would be fresh elections or 
the suspended national and provincial assemblies would be revived. 
"The matter is being examined by the legal experts," he added.

To another question, Gen Musharraf said his government was not 
seeking the expulsion of Osama bin Laden from Afghanistan at the 
behest of the US. "We have nothing to do with that issue," he said, 
adding that the Taliban knew better what to do about Osama and the 
US demand.

He was reminded that he had taken a lot of time to choose the 
members of the NSC some of whom did not enjoy good reputation. "I 
have heard about it and perhaps we might have made some mistakes in 
selecting the members of the NSC. The intentions were good, the 
judgment might have been wrong. But I assure you that if their 
performance is not satisfactory, they will be changed."

Gen Musharraf agreed with a reporter that Sharifuddin Pirzada, the 
ex-officio member of the NSC, had been allowed to continue his 
legal practice. "He is an ex-officio member of the Council and not 
a full-time member".

Talking about his differences with Nawaz Sharif, he denied that he 
and the ousted prime minister were not comfortable because of the 
Kargil crisis. He said he had expressed his point of view on the 
Kargil issue at the DCC (Defence Committee of Cabinet) meeting 
which was appreciated by the former prime minister. "There is no 
relationship between Kargil and the action of October 12," he 

He told a reporter that Nawaz Sharif could be tried because of 
attempting to kill him in the air, loan defaults, corruption and 
other issues, including what had been said against him (Nawaz) by 
Mr Gujral.

The CE said that Pakistan would sign the CTBT only in the national 
interest and that all the commitments made by the previous 
government would be honoured.

Message to the nation: After the end of the news conference, the CE 
said that he wanted to give a message to the nation:

"I want to warn the rich to stop sucking the blood of poor people. 
I would not allow anyone to continue victimizing our poor masses".

He asked the people to stand up and become a dignified nation. "We 
are a nuclear power of 140 people and will work hard to make 
Pakistan prosperous and restore our respect and dignity."

He asked the nation to bear with him and not to get impatient with 
the apparent slow pace of his government's actions and said that he 
was faced with a formidable task and needed time to take right 
decisions and actions so that things do not get derailed in haste.

CE defines NSC functions: Governors given CMs' powers 
Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: The Chief Executive, General Pervez Musharraf, 
on Saturday promulgated two more orders under the PCO, 1 of 1999. 
The first order concerned the appointment of the National Security 
Council (NSC) while the second defined the powers and functions of 
the governors of the provinces.

The order concerning the governors states that "the governors will 
have the same powers and functions as under the constitution, 
including the functions and powers of a chief minister and such 
other powers and functions which might be conferred upon him by the 

The order about the NSC, which comes into force with immediate 
effect, states that the chief executive shall call the NSC to meet 
at such time and place as he may deem fit for deliberations.

Under the Order 6, the chief executive will be the chairman of the 
NSC comprising the chief of the naval staff, the chief of the air 
staff and such other members as might be appointed by the chief 

The NSC will deliberate upon, discuss and tender advice to the CE 
on such matters as the CE may deem expedient and necessary to refer 
to the NSC in national interest.

The matters which the NSC will be discussing, inter alia, relate to 
national security, foreign affairs, law and order, corruption, 
accountability, recovery of bank loans, and public debt from 
defaulters, finance, economic and social welfare, health, 
education, Islamic ideology, human rights, protection of minorities 
and women development so as to achieve the aims and objectives 
enshrined in the Objective Resolution of 1949.

The decision taken by the CE on considering the deliberations of 
the NSC shall be enforced and given effect in the manner as deemed 
fit by the CE.

The CE may, in his discretion, substitute, change or add any member 
of the NSC.

The members of the NSC will hold office during the pleasure of the 
chief executive. The member who is not in the service of Pakistan 
can resign by submitting his resignation to the chief executive. 
The member who is in the service of Pakistan has no such option.

The Order No 6 under the PCO, 1999 further states that a member of 
the NSC who is not in the service of Pakistan will have to take 
oath before the president.

The order also provided the oath which the civilian members of the 
NSC would have to take before the president. The oath is almost the 
same which is prescribed for the ministers and the ministers of 
state in the Constitution, except the addition that he/she would 
abide by the PCO 1, 1999 issued by the chief executive on October 
14. "Member will abide by the Proclamation of the Fourteenth day of 
October 1999, and the Provisional Constitution Order No 1, of 1999 
issued by the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of 
Army Staff and Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 
on the Fourteenth day of the October, 1999 and all subsequent 
orders issued by him."

GOVERNORS' POWERS: In another order issued on Saturday, called 
Powers and Functions of the Governor Order (Order No 5, of 1999), 
the chief executive provided: "The governors will have the same 
powers and functions as under the constitution, including the 
functions and powers of a chief minister and such other powers and 
functions which might be conferred upon him by the CE."

The order, which comes into force at once, states that the governor 
of the province may, whenever he considers it necessary , with the 
approval of the chief executive or is so directed by the CE, call 
upon the Armed Forces of Pakistan for such assistance and 
performance of such functions, as deemed fit.

Ehtesab net to include military, says Musharraf

LONDON, Nov 5: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, said on 
Friday that Nawaz Sharif might face charges of tax evasion and 
defaulting on loans.

In separate interviews with the BBC, The Times and dpa, Gen 
Musharraf said his drive against corruption might target the army, 
saying they are "of the same stock" as corrupt individuals who face 
arrest on Nov 17, the day after his deadline for the repayment of 

Asked whether it was time to make a decision about Nawaz Sharif's 
fate, he said: "Yes, absolutely. The legal process is on, I do 
understand it is taking a little bit of time because the issue is 
very complex.

"And 17th November, as you know, is the target on one of the issues 
that he surely is involved in and that is loan defaulting or income 
tax evasion ... these charges will shortly be there."

When the BBC reporter then asked whether this meant Nawaz Sharif 
would be charged, he said: "Again it is with the accountability 
group. But surely he is involved in these things."

The CE indicated there could be other arrests on corruption 

"On the 17th I would immediately take action against selected top 
cream of this list we are making and we initiate formal inquiries 
and maybe put them in custody.

"We do not want them to escape at all so, therefore, if we think 
anyone will leave the country we will have to do something about 

Asked if there was corruption in the army, he said: "Yes there 
could be some, I don't deny it, we are from the same stock.

"It can't be ruled out and when I say accountability across the 
board I really do mean the military is part of the horizontal 
accountability process."

In his interview with The Times, Gen Musharraf said on Friday he 
could not give a timeframe for a return to democracy until his 
objective of reviving the economy had been achieved.

He said that a deadline would only generate political instability.

He said the military did not have any choice in staging its 
bloodless coup on Oct 12 and ousting Nawaz Sharif's government.

"The army did not have any option but to step in to save the 
country from civil war."

Gen Musharraf accused politicians of having made politics "a game 
for rich people who misguided illiterate and poor people".

"It was a sham democracy where people did not have any say. I want 
to establish a real democracy where the people are masters of their 
own destiny," he said.

Speaking to dpa at the Army House, his official residence in 
Rawalpindi, the CE appeared confident that he could successfully 
implement his agenda of reform.

"The monitoring system I am going to institute through the army 
will oversee the whole system, and support the district 
administrations in exercising their authority."

Asked about the creation of a "true democratic dispensation with 
people's participation" at the grass-roots level which he was 
talking of, Gen Musharraf said: "That way good governance will be 
ensured, the real authority will rest with the people and they will 
be able to omit and commit good and bad."

He pointed to the allegations against Nawaz Sharif and his 
predecessors since 1985 which range from the abuse of power to 
corruption. Asked about the nature of the charges being levelled 
against the deposed premier, he would only say that he would not 
"show his vindictiveness" when the trial begins. He would also not 
say when the trial would begin.

Question as to why he thought the international reaction to the 
coup was mild, he said, "it is because we did not impose 
conventional martial law, the constitution has only been held in 
abeyance, but the judiciary is functioning and the press is free."

CE briefs EU mission on causes of takeover
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Nov 2: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on 
Tuesday informed the special envoy of the European Union of the 
"extraordinary circumstances" that necessitated the change of 
government in Pakistan, and emphasized the importance Pakistan 
attached to the EU which was its largest economic partner.

Jukka Valtasaari, Finland's secretary of state in the foreign 
ministry, was here as the head of a factfinding mission the EU 
foreign ministers decided to send in their meeting on Oct 16, 
threatening to cut off aid if democracy were not restored within a 
month by the military regime. Mr Valtasaari said the question of 
sanctions, if considered, could be decided by the foreign ministers 
when they met later this month. 

 Gen Musharraf assured him that Pakistan was keen to strengthen 
relations with the EU. He said he had set an agenda and priorities 
for the government and explained that the change of government was 
aimed at rebuilding institutions and introducing electoral reforms 
to "promote genuine democracy consistent with the aspirations of 
the Pakistani people," according to an official press statement 
issued here on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the EU envoy "stated that the visit had 
provided him with a valuable opportunity for a better understanding 
of the situation" in Pakistan. 

 "He had particularly noted that the people desired good 
governance, elimination of mismanagement and corruption and true 

 The envoyappreciated Pakistan's interest in augmenting relations 
with the EU and "stressed the desire of the EU to continue to 
constructively engage with Pakistan and help the country at this 
important juncture".

Speaking to reporters later, Mr Valtasaari said his mission had 
been unable to get a timetable for a return to democracy from the 
new rulers. He said that was what the EU wanted for continuing its 

The EU mission which has completed its assignment here, will 
present its findings and recommendations to a meeting of the EU 
foreign ministers on Nov 15 and 16.

Trade bodies seek incentives to clear dues 
Shaukat Ali

LAHORE, Nov 2: A marathon session of top business bodies here on 
Tuesday asked military authorities to take to task bankers who had 
approved loans for industrialists without adequate collateral. 

 Presided over by the President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of 
Commerce and Industry Fazal-ur-Rehman Dittu, the meeting pleaded 
with the government that defaulters of loans up to Rs100 million 
should be given another chance to clear their outstanding amounts 
by providing them with facilities like the ones given in a previous 
incentive scheme of the State bank of Pakistan. 

 Representatives of leading trade bodies from Punjab, NWFP and Azad 
Jammu and Kashmir, besides a number of federation's former 
presidents including Ilyas Ahmed Bilour and Iftikhar Ali Malik were 
also present. 

 Under an arid atmosphere in which most business tycoons visibly 
looked anxious about the economic policies of the new faces in 
Islamabad, the meeting maintained that the businessmen whose loan 
cases were pending in courts of law should not be termed as 
defaulters. It said the best way to wriggle out of the present mess 
was to set up a high level committee, duly represented by FPCCI as 
well, to tackle issues like loan default. 

Talking to reporters after the meeting Dittu said thegovernment 
should frame such realistic economic policies as to tear down the 
present uncertainty shrouding country's economic future. 

He welcomed the Chief Executive's gesture for undertaking a stern 
accountability of businessmen who misappropriated bank loans and 
added that top 100 defaulters mentioned by SBP governor be first 
taken to task for recovery of stuck up loans. 

 He said the business community strongly felt that there was an 
urgent need to radically reshuffle the present policy on the 
general sales tax. 

He said the meeting had given a long sight to this issue and 
noticed that the way GST issue was being waged by the previous 
government, economic betterment was almost not possible. 

He said there was no point in maligning names of businessmen who 
had obtained loans just in accordance with the prudential 
regulations of the central bank. Dittu argued that a loan default 
case must be studied in the light of all factors which had led to 
non-payment of the credit including inconsistent economic policies 
of subsequent governments and the long recession the world over.

He informed reporters that a meeting of a cross section of business 
representatives from Sindh and Balochistan would be held in Karachi 
on Nov 8 and seek proposals for the early recovery of the economy. 

US, Russia want civilian rule in Pakistan

WASHINGTON, Oct 30: The United States and Russia on Friday issued a 
joint call for Pakistan to return to civilian rule.

In a joint statement issued after three days of high-level meetings 
here between US assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Karl 
Inderfurth, and Russian deputy foreign minister Grigoriy, the two 
countries said peace and stability in South Asia would be enhanced 
by civilian rule in Islamabad.

"They encouraged the military authorities in Pakistan to take 
decisive steps to return the country to civilian, democratic and 
constitutional government including the announcement of a 
timetable," the statement said.

The statement urged Pakistan and India to resolve their dispute 
over Kashmir. 

"The two sides agreed on the importance of India and Pakistan 
overcoming their legacy of confrontation and called on both sides 
to resume their political dialogue at the earliest opportunity," 
the statement said.

It welcomed Gen Musharraf's decision to withdraw some Pakistan 
troops from the international border with India and noted 
Washington's and Moscow's desire to see that reduction also occur 
on the Line of Control"

"They expressed hope that similar measures would be taken to reduce 
tensions along the Line of Control in Kashmir," the statement 

US following wait-and-see policy: Milam

ISLAMABAD, Nov 5: American ambassador to Pakistan William B. Milam 
on Friday said the US had adopted a "watch and wait" policy towards 
the change in Pakistan as it was not still aware what would be the 
overall policies of the new administration.

He was talking to reporters after inaugurating a two-day 4th 
American Studies Conference organized by the area study centre for 
Africa, North and South America, Quaid-i-Azam University, here on 

Referring to the announcement of the federal cabinet, he said the 
inclusion of people from civil society in it was a good thing.

Milam said the new government was framing itself so US was waiting 
to see what policies it would adopt.

When asked if President Clinton would be visiting Pakistan during 
his forthcoming visit to South Asia, he said no final decision had 
so far been taken in this regard.

To a question on US sanctions, he said the senate had requested 
President Clinton to delay lifting of sanctions against Pakistan. 

 He said given the senate request the US executive was in a 

To a question on the CTBT, he said the US would continue to adhere 
to it even after senate's rejection to ratify the treaty.

Earlier in his inaugural speech on the occasion on 'Islam and 
America,' Milam said if US was against violence and terrorism and 
those few organizations sponsoring it, which did not mean that "we 
are hostile to all Islamic organizations."

He said the US was enjoying very good relations with Saudi Arabia, 
UAE, and other Muslim countries, including Pakistan.

He said the US was certainly not anti-Islam and added that 7 
million Muslims were practising their faith in America. There were 
1002 mosques across the country, he added.

"The negative and erroneous propaganda" was damaging Pakistan-US 
relations, said the ambassador. It was a misconception that US was 
posing a "major threat" to Islam, he added.-APP

CE reassures press of freedom
Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, Nov 5: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on 
Friday reiterated his commitment that the press would be free and 
that he would not backtrack on this promise.

This he said during a two-hour meeting with the members of the 
executive committee of All Pakistan Newspaper Society.

He asked the press to write about the military government but after 
confirmation and keeping in mind the version of the other side.

Flanked by Gen Aziz, CGS, and ISPR director-general Brigadier 
Rashid Qureshi, the chief executive said a monitoring system was 
being evolved at the military level that would monitor the 
performance of the government.

He suggested that the newspapers highlight the excesses of 
bureaucracy and police which, he said, would serve as a monitoring 

Asking the mediamen and people to show patience as the country was 
passing through a crisis, he said he would live up to his words. He 
also advised the representatives of the press industry to evolve a 
mechanism of check and balances.

When asked by an editor whether the information ministry was being 
abolished, he said it was one of the points which the military 
authorities were considering.

Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, president of the APNS, and Secretary-General 
Arshad Zuberi apprised the chief executive of the problems being 
faced by the newspaper industry.

He was also briefed about the issue of advertising dues, Freedom of 
Information Act, wage board, press commission and newsprint.

Earlier, the APNS office-bearers called on Finance Minister-
designate Shaukat Aziz and briefed him about the problems the 
industry was facing with particular reference to the sales tax and 
income tax.

APP adds: In response to the problems raised by Mr Rehman, Gen 
Musharraf said that all their genuine problems would be given due 

Delhi seeks postponement of SAARC summit
KATHMANDU, Nov 4: India has asked Nepal to postpone the proposed 
11th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) 
summit because of the military takeover in Pakistan, officials said 
on Thursday.

Nepal's state run radio said the Nepalese foreign ministry "has 
received a request from India in black and white for deferring the 
date of the proposed SAARC summit scheduled for Nov 26-28 in 
Kathmandu". India has sent a similar letter to current SAARC 
chairperson and Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the 
radio announcement said. 

Earlier India had verbally asked Nepal that the summit be 
postponed. Nepal had insisted that a written request should be made 
by India.

A foreign ministry source said despite the situation in Pakistan 
"the Nepalese govt is going ahead with the full-scale preparation 
to hold the 11th SAARC summit in Kathmandu between Nov 26 & 28".

Nepalese Foreign Minister Ram Sharan Mahat planned to fly to Thimpu 
to deliver an invitation to the summit from Nepalese Prime Minister 
and the prospective chairman of SAARC Krishna Prasad Bhattarai to 
the Bhutanese head of government, but had to delay his flight after 
a plane cancellation.

After receiving India's written request SAARC and Nepal are 
expected to make a formal announcement either Friday or after the 
return of the Nepalese foreign minister from Thimpu, an official 
source said.-AFP

US says Pakistan training militants
Shaheen Sehbai

 WASHINGTON, Nov 3: A senior US official responsible for counter-
terrorism on Tuesday directly accused Pakistan of supporting 
training of militant groups in Afghanistan as well as providing 
"material support" 
to some of the Kashmiri militants. "There are numerous Kashmiri 
separatist groups and sectarian groups involved in terrorism which 
use Pakistan as a base...We have repeatedly asked Islamabad to end 
support of terrorist training in Afghanistan," Michael Sheehan, 
State Department's coordinator for counter-terrorism, told a Senate 
Foreign Relations sub-committee. The sub-committee hearing was 
called and presided over by Senator Sam Brownback and the list of 
experts who testified included a former CIA officer in Pakistan 

Milt Bearden, president of Stimson Centre Michael Krepon, John 
Hopkins University Central Asia Institute chairman Dr Fredrick 
Starr and a Pakistani- American businessman and columnist Mansoor 

Mr Sheehan recently visited India to coordinate US-Indian responses 
to terrorist threats but when asked whether he would also visit 
Pakistan soon, he said: "Hopefully." "Pakistan has frequently 
acknowledged what it calls moral and diplomatic support for 
militants in Kashmir who employ violence and terrorism against 
Indian interests. We have continuing reports of Pakistani material 
support for some of these militants," Mr Sheehan said. 

 He named several Pakistan-based militant Islamic groups including 
Lashkar Taiba, Harkatul Jehad Islami and Hizbul Mujahideen, which, 
he said, "operate freely in Pakistan and support terrorist attacks 
in Kashmir." 

 Asked by Indian and Pakistani journalists after his hearing 
whether he found any change in the policy after the overthrow of 
the Nawaz government, Mr Sheehan said: "We are still waiting for 
their responses and it is too early to judge whether there is any 
change." When a correspondent pointed out whether it was "business 
as usual" with the military government, he crisply said "no" but 
added: "We hope to work with them on all these issues."

C'wealth chief softens stance on Pakistan

LONDON, Nov 3: Commonwealth Secretary-General Emeka Anyaoku 
acknowledged on Wednesday that last month's military takeover in 
Pakistan was "not completely unfounded" even though it prompted the 
Asian state's suspension from his organisation.

Presenting his final report ahead of a summit of the 54-member 
organisation in South Africa next week, Anyaoku said the 
Commonwealth's decision to suspend Pakistan was based on the 
principle that it was the right of the people of any country to 
choose their government.

"The fact that you had a military takeover in Pakistan infringed 
that rule," he told reporters and diplomats at the organisation's 
London headquarters.

He said that after a mission to Pakistan last week led by Canadian 
Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, the Commonwealth was now engaged 
with Pakistan in seeing how democracy could be restored speedily.

The Commonwealth's readiness to work with Pakistan's General Pervez 
Musharraf was based on recognition that the takeover, while "not to 
be tolerated, was not completely unfounded on the basis of the mood 
of the country," Anyaoku said.

He said the Commonwealth was in discussions with Musharraf on how 
to give Pakistanis the right to choose their government.

Asked if Pakistan's new ruler was taking notice of Commonwealth 
pressure, Anyaoku replied "Oh yes." An aide to the Secretary-
General privately described the Pakistani ruler as "a man looking 
for answers".

Anyaoku, who steps down next March after 10 years in the job, 
indicated he was frustrated by the way the Pakistan military 
takeover had marred the organisation's drive for more democracy.

Until the Oct 12 military action, none of the Commonwealth's 54 
countries was under military or one-party rule, compared with nine 
a decade ago, Anyaoku said.

Anyaoku said the Nov 12-15 heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in 
Durban would discuss new guidelines for the work of the 
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, the eight-nation body which 
suspended Pakistan.-Reuters

Ehtesab: Asif, Benazir top list of non-PML leaders
Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, Nov 3: Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali 
Zardari, former chief ministers Manzoor Wattoo, Arif Nakai, Liaquat 
Jatoi, Syed Abdullah Shah, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Aftab Ahmed Khan 
Sherpao, Zulfikar Magsi,
 and ministers Gen Naseerullah Babar, Makhdoom Amin Faheem and Azam 
Hoti are prominent among the non-PML leaders who are going to face 

A large number of former ministers and bureaucrats will also have 
to face the music on account of alleged misdeeds in various 

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) set up by the military 
government with a serving general as its head is taking up all 
cases pending against them with what until recently was called 
Ehtesab Bureau.

As for the PML leaders, cases against a number of them are already 
pending and new ones are also being prepared on charges of their 
involvement in corrupt practices, misuse of powers and others.

One allegation against Ms Bhutto, her husband Asif Zardari and 
former minister Mir Baz Mohammad Khan Khetran is that they 
committed serious irregularities while importing 200 falcons.

Another allegation against Mr Zardari, Mr Fauzi Ali Kazmi and ex-
chief customs collector Khalid Ahmed is that they caused loss of 
billions of rupees to the Habib Bank and the National Bank of 

A case against Ms Bhutto, Hussain Haqqani, Javed Pasha and others 
is that they illegally granted licence for FM Radio and Wireless 
Cable TV Network.

The Ehtesab Bureau had prepared its report on the two issues but it 
was returned to it for reconsideration.

There are several other cases against the PPP chairperson and her 
husband, who is already in jail in connection with various cases.

There are over 20 cases against former Sindh chief minister Liaquat 
Jatoi, which are being taken up by the new government. Corruption 
and misuse of power is the common ground for these cases.

Of the several cases against former Punjab chief minister Manzoor 
Wattoo, one is that he made money out of an aircraft deal.

Mr Wattoo and another former chief minister Arif Nakai are also 
accused of having misused their discretionary funds and illegally 
allotted plots to their favourites.

Ex-NWFP chief minister Aftab Sherpao is accused of unauthorised 
allotment of 98 plots in Hyatabad, Peshawar, and having imported 
smuggled Afghan timber.

As many as 59 cases are pending against ex-Senators, MNAs andMPAs 
of NWFP. An intelligence agency has also provided information 
against various legislators for accountability.

Former Balochistan chief minister Zulfikar Magsi is accused of 
involvement in illegal import of Iranian oil through Taftan Oil 
Company. Another allegation against him is that he and his wife 
maintain an account in a foreign country. A number of cases of 
corruption, misuse of authority, allotment of lands are also being 
referred to the relevant authorities against other people.

Ex-speaker Syed Yousaf Reza Gilani allegedly committed gross 
irregularities while using his official authority.

Former minister Anwar Saifullah Khan and officials of the ministry 
of petroleum and natural resources are accused of involvement in 
corrupt practices in the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation. 
A number of other complaints are also pending against him.

According to informed sources, former provincial ministers Malik 
Mushtaq Awan and Nazim Husain Shah are also to be proceeded against 
in various cases.

Special courts to try cases of accountability
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, Oct 31: The military government is planning major 
amendments to the Ehtesab Act to plug the loopholes that had 
allowed an embezzler, defaulter or a corrupt to escape the arm of 
law, it is learnt.

However, according to a reliable source, the accountability cases 
would continue to be placed before the civilian court. "There will 
be no military courts to try the defaulters and the corrupt, 
including corrupt politicians," the source said.

It further said that special courts would be set up, as envisaged 
in the Constitution, to ensure prompt disposal of accountability 
cases. The Supreme Court and the high courts would be asked to 
monitor the performance of these special courts so that speedy 
justice could be ensured, it added.

The higher judiciary would be requested to appoint the best 
possible judges as presiding officers of these special courts. Lt-
Gen Mohammad Amjad Hussain, who had been asked to suggest 
amendments to the Ehtesab Act, was busy preparing the draft, the 
source said.

It said that the military leadership had decided that as per demand 
of the people of Pakistan, the plunderers of national wealth should 
be taken to task in the shortest possible time.

The accused, it is said, would, however, be given the right to 
defend himself as envisaged in the Constitution.

"We want to ensure that the legal lacunas that help the corrupt to 
escape should be removed," the source said. 

 To avoid uncalled for delays in the disposal of accountability 
references, he said, an amendment was being introduced so that the 
defendant must appear before the court once the summon was served 
on him/her. "Unlike past they will not find loose ends anymore," 
the source said.

Besides targeting corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, the military 
leadership had also decided to attack the "life style of 

 Those who had earned their wealth through legal means would not be 
touched but the rest would have to cough up the looted money.

The source said that a very large number of businessmen had got 
hundreds of millions from banks but they either got them written 
off or refused to re-pay them by showing losses to their so-called 
registered companies. 

"On the contrary the life-style of these businessmen is improving 
and new model Mercedeze cars are being used by them," the source 
said and added, "such people now can't have the protection of law."

Increase in POL prices inevitable: Dr Gulfraz

ISLAMABAD, Nov 4: Federal Secretary for Petroleum Dr. Gulfraz Ahmad 
has said that any adjustment in prices of petroleum products would 
have minimum impact on the common man.

He was talking to newsmen after inauguration of PSO operated new 
vision station here, Thursday.

The Petroleum Secretary said that upward movement in petroleum 
prices was inevitable following the surging prices in the 
international market.

He, however, assured that huge escalation at the international 
market would not be passed on to the consumers adding that slight 
adjustment was however, inevitable.

Dr. Gulfraz said the Ministry has offered the people, associated 
with petroleum industry, to exploit maximum the petroleum resources 
and make short, medium and long term planning for economic revival.

He said Petroleum Ministry has been offering the freedom of action 
and support to exploit impactive possibilities to be identified by 
petroleum industry for short, medium and long term plans.

In the Petroleum Ministry, he said, a system has been devised to 
monitor their programmes and to remove bottlenecks. He said if 
required, a task force would be set up to interact with other 
ministries or government departments to facilitate the industry 
people to achieve their targets.

This government-industry partnership, he said would help in 
increasing oil production to optimum level from existing fields and 
develop those fields which are not producing in the shortest 
possible time. Efforts would be made to put on production maximum 
fields of natural gas to reduce the import of fuel oil.

In this regard, he had a meeting with heads of petroleum industry 
and formulated a ten point "common agenda", plan of action he said.

To a question about gas load-shedding for industrial consumption 
during winter season, Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmad said the ministry has 
evolved a 69 days short term agenda to cope with the situation.

He said there will be an increase of 2000 MCF gas production next 
month. He expressed the hope that there would be minimum industries 
came under load management programme during the this winter.

Earlier in his inaugural speech Dr Gulfaraz said to ensure 
competitiveness in the sale of petroleum products, the Ministry has 
granted retail licenses to Attock Petroleum Limited and PARCO. He 
said it is "very encouraging " that more and more companies are 
entering in the retail sale business. He said that international 
companies would be welcomed in petroleum exploration and retails 
sale business.-APP

SBP unfreezes politicians' FC accounts
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Nov 2: The State Bank has announced unfreezing of the 
foreign currency accounts of the politicians on certain conditions, 
one of which is that the withdrawals from these accounts would be 
allowed in rupee and not in foreign currencies. The accounts of 
those politicians who are bank-defaulters to any extent would 
continue to remain frozen.

Last week the SBP had allowed conditional unfreezing of the local 
currency accounts of the politicians.

The SBP said on Tuesday that the foreign currency accounts of the 
politicians would be operative exclusively for the purposes for 
which their rupee accounts were unfrozen on Oct 27. In other words 
the foreign currency accounts of the politicians are being revived 
to enable them to repay or adjust their bank loans; clear utility 
bills and taxes and pay salary to their employees, if any.

The SBP further said the amount withdrawn from the foreign currency 
accounts would be converted into rupees at the prevailing inter-
bank exchange rates. That is the politicians would not be able to 
withdraw foreign exchange from their foreign currency accounts even 
after their revival. They would rather get the rupee equivalent of 
the withdrawals at the inter-bank rate which currently ranges 
between Rs51.90-Rs51.95 per US dollar.

Senior bankers say the foreign currency accounts of only those 
politicians would be unfrozen who are neither bank defaulters on 
any account nor do their names appear in the reports of the SBP 
Credit Information Bureau.

Bankers say whereas the banks compile lists of all defaulters the 
SBP Bureau compiles the list of only those whose stuck-up loans 
total Rs0.5 million or above. "This means that if a politician is a 
defaulter - whether big or small - his foreign currency account 
would not be unfrozen," explained a banker.

Bankers well-versed with the previous SBP instructions on the 
unfreezing of rupee accounts of the politicians say the foreign 
currency accounts of the politicians would be operational for these 

(i) repayment or adjustment of outstanding loan liabilities to the 
bank and other financial institutions;

(ii) payment of utility bills or any other legitimate dues or taxes 
payable to the government or its agencies and

(iii) meeting salary needs of trading or industrial concerns of the 
account holders - if there are any.

On Oct 15, the SBP had frozen local and foreign currency accounts 
of hundreds of notable politicians and legislators and their 
spouses. This was part of a set of steps taken to prevent flight of 
capital in the wake of the Oct 12 military take- over.

The other measures included a 10-day ban on trading in open foreign 
exchange market; restriction put on remitting foreign exchange 
abroad through bank draft and suspension of forward buying and 
selling of foreign exchange by importers and exporters in the 
inter-bank market. Whereas other restrictions have been lifted, the 
ban on outward remittance of foreign exchange through bank draft 
and electronic transfer remains in force. But senior bankers expect 
that this restriction may also be lifted shortly.

Bankers say they are supposed to furnish a fortnightly report to 
the SBP disclosing details about the withdrawals from the unfrozen 
foreign currency accounts.

They say the SBP teams may carry out random inspection of banks to 
ensure that they are meeting the conditions set for the revival of 
the bank accounts of the politicians.

IT deduction on savings profit stayed

LAHORE, Nov 2: The Lahore High Court restrained the federal 
government and the National Savings Directorate on Tuesday from 
deducting 10 per cent income tax on profit or interest accruing 
from the national savings certificates purchased by the 12 
petitioners who approached it before Sept 3.

Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum, who granted the stay, also directed 
the federal government to submit its reply to the petitioners' 
claim by Nov 18. The restraint order was passed on an application 
moved in the petition for interim relief.

The petitioners submitted through Advocate Nasira Javed Iqbal that 
they purchased the three-year special savings certificates by 
accepting the National Savings offer of 16 per cent per annum 
profit for two and half a years and 18 per cent profit for the last 
six months. Under the contract, no tax except zakat was leviable on 
the certificates or on profit from them. The profit was payable 

On May 14 this year, the federal government announced that the 
special savings certificates purchased after that date would carry 
a profit of Rs 14 (instead of 16) per cent for two years and a half 
and of 16 (instead of 18) per cent for the last six months. The 
notification curtailing the rate of profit was, however, 
prospective in its operation.

On Sept 3, the government went a step further and announced by 
another notification that all special and defence savings 
certificates would be liable to a deduction of 10 per cent 
income/withholding tax irrespective of their date of purchase. The 
deduction was applicable to all amounts paid as profit after Sept 
3. The confiscatory imposition had the effect of further curtailing 
the rate of profit by 2 per cent per annum.

The petitioners said they had invested their life times savings and 
retirement benefits in the certificates to earn a respectable 
living at the fag end of their life. The government measures have 
effectively deprived them of a sizable part of their income.

Govt may allow private sector to import wheat
Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, Nov 5: The federal government is likely to allow wheat 
import by private sector to avoid expected shortage of the 
commodity in the coming months in the country.

Ousted government of Nawaz Sharif had banned wheat import by 
private sector few months back following reports of import of 
substandard wheat into Pakistan at cheap rates.

Official sources in the ministry of finance told Dawn here on 
Friday that now the decision to lift the ban is expected to be 
taken in the light of a shocking disclosure made by Statistic 
Division that final wheat production estimate for year 1998-99 
stand at 17.854 million tons against earlier projected 18.6 million 

The government, sources added, want to allow private sector to 
import wheat to meet this unexpected shortage because it lacks 
required US $ at the moment.

Official sources while quoting fresh statement showing province 
wise break-up of final production estimate of wheat crop for 1998-
99 disclosed that in Punjab final production has been calculated at 
13212 thousands tons, in Sindh, 2675.1 thousand tons, NWFP 1221.8 
thousands tons and Balochistan 744.8 thousand tons. Thus, total 
production comes to 17.8 million tons.

Sources said ministry of finance has pointed out that revised 
production figures demonstrate that previous year wheat crop was 
less by 5.5 per cent against target of 19 million tons.

Official sources added the ministry of finance has taken up this 
alarming issue with the new management of the ministry of food, 
agriculture and livestock to avoid food shortage in the country.

Sources said officials of M/O Finance while giving details of wheat 
shortage have pointed out to agriculture ministry that Federal 
Commission on Agriculture (FCA) last year initially had proposed a 
target of 20 million tons for 19998-99. But, ministry officials 
added that on the insistence of governments of the Punjab and 
Sindh, production target was finally fixed at 19 million tons.

Sources quoted the finance ministry as saying that just after wheat 
harvesting was over in the country, the figures of 18.6 and 19 
million tons were quoted by the then minister of food, agriculture 
and livestock in the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) as well 
as on the floor of the National Assembly which seriously led to 
unrealistic decisions.

Stocks suffer fresh fractional decline

KARACHI, Nov 5: Stocks on Friday suffered fresh fractional decline 
on a wide front as jobbers and sundry speculators took profits at 
the higher levels owing partly to weekend considerations.

There was a relative quiet in the rings as both bears and bulls 
maintained a near-status quo ahead of finance minister Shaukat Aziz 
maiden visit to the Karachi Stock Exchange on next Thursday.

The KSE 100-share index, which holding on well above psychological 
barrier of 1,200 points finally gave in and was last quoted at 
1,193.54 as compared to 1,202.21 a day earlier, reflecting the 
weakness of leading base shares including Hub-Power and PTCL.

The steep decline in the turnover figure below 100m shares 
demonstrates the presence of some new elements in stock trading and 
the following lull.

'It was not, however, a lull before the storm but investors just 
took stock of their positions in an overbought market, although it 
was not matched by heavy selling as was reflected by a sharp 
decline in the trading volume', a member of the KSE Rajabali 
Hussain said.

They said the major change in the trading pattern after a week of 
hectic activity was reflective of the fact that those who have 
'links above' may have found some cue to the things to come 
possibly by the next week.

'This perception was reinforced by reports that finance minister 
Shaukat Aziz is expected visit the KSE on next Thursday to have an 
overview of the performance of the capital market could signal a 
major change in the corporate scenario leading eventually to viable 
market', said a leading stock analyst Muhammad Ashraf.

There is a loud whispering in the rings that leading stock brokers 
are in a mood to present a bull market to the new finance minister 
when he visits the KSE next Thursday to demonstrate their 
confidence in his investment-friendly policies and bold steps, an 
other stock analyst Faisal Abbas was of the view.

Energy shares should have come in for active support at the lower 
level on news of an increase in petroleum prices but instead 
attracted selling and fell under the lead of pivotals such as Shell 
Pakistan but PSO managed to look up modestly and so did textile 
shares owing to steep decline in cotton prices after opting for 
free market economy doing away with fixed lint cotton prices.

The market resistance to larger decline was led by some low-priced 
textile shares under the lead of Blessed Textiles, Faisal Spinning, 
Samin Textiles, Sapphire Fibre and H.M.Ismail Textiles, rising by 
one rupee to Rs5.75.

Mutual funds trading at discounts
Dilawar Hussain

KARACHI, Nov 5: All thirteen private sector closed-end Mutual Funds 
quoted on the stock market, were trading at varying discounts to 
their Net Asset Value (NAV) at end-September, a statement released 
by the Mutual Funds Association of Pakistan (Mufap) on Oct 29 

The 10-rupee mutual fund certificate in Confidence Mutual Fund 
sported the highest NAV of Rs 12.28 but its market price stood at 
less than a half of that at Rs 6.00.

BSJS Balanced Fund followed closely with NAV at Rs 12.12 and the 
market price at Rs 4. Security Stock Fund was trading at Rs 3.65 
per certificate against its NAV of Rs 11.27.

Only the quoted value of Al-Meezan Mutual Fund at Rs 10 was noted 
to be close to its NAV of Rs 10.06.

Rest of the private sector Mutual Funds with their respective NAV 
and market price were: Asian Stock Fund Rs 4.79 and Rs 2.00; 
Dominion Stock Fund Rs 3.68 and Re 0.90; Golden Arrow Rs 3.94 and 
Rs 1.05; KASB Premier Fund Rs 6.73 and Rs3.00; Prudential Stock 
Fund Rs 3.60 and Rs1.55; Safeway Mutual Fund Rs 2.75 and Rs 1.50.

Certificate in First Capital Mutual Fund carried the market price 
of Rs 1.35; Growth Mutual Fund Re 0.60 and Tri-Star Mutual Fund Re 
1.00. All three had not submitted their NAV statement to the 
Modaraba Association of Pakistan.

Analysts affirm that the Mutual Fund industry has yet to come out 
of the woods. Together with the Modarabas, the Mutual Funds have 
taken severe beating during the protracted stock market slump of 
the past few years.

One obvious reason that the 13 private sector Mutual Funds had 
continued to fare badly was due to their poor entry points into the 
market, analysts say. Those funds who entered the market during the 
bull run of 1994 e.g. the Tristar Mutual Fund and the Asian Stocks 
Fund, had accumulated very expensive portfolio mixes.
Moreover, in most of the private sector mutual funds, professional 
expertise in equity research and portfolio management had generally 
been lacking, resulting in low quality portfolio compositions. Such 
Funds were known to have taken huge stakes in such laggards as the 
textile spinning and modaraba sectors, analysts say.

Earlier, a weekly statement released by the state-owned Investment 
Corporation of Pakistan (ICP) showed that at Oct 25, market price 
of all its twenty-six mutual funds had also plunged to be quoted at 
a discount to their Net Asset Value (NAV).

CBR pays 32 per cent more refunds

ISLAMABAD, Nov 5: The Central Board of Revenue paid out 32 per cent 
more refunds to the businessmen in the first four months of 1999-
2000 as compared to the same period in 1998-99.

The refunds paid out this year were of Rs 16.4 billion while last 
year the refund amount was Rs 11.2 billion.

Out of a total gross collection of Rs 80.9bn last year in July-
October, the CBR had paid Rs 11.2bn (13.84%), while this year, Rs 
16.4bn refunds were paid out of gross collection of Rs 114.4bn 

The four wings of the CBR paid out refunds in July-Oct 1999-2000 as 
follows: direct taxes Rs 2.98 billion out of gross Rs 31.6 billion; 
sales tax Rs 7.17 billion out of gross Rs 37.2 billion; Central 
Excise Duty Rs 10 million out of gross Rs 17.5 billion; and Customs 
Duty Rs 6.31 billion out of gross Rs 28 billion.

In October this year, the refund repayments have been as follows: 
direct taxes nil out of total collection of Rs 7.3 billion; sales 
tax Rs 1.6 billion out of gross collection of Rs 10.28 billion; 
Central Excise Duty Rs 2 million out of gross Rs 4.71 billion; and 
Customs Duty Rs 1.54 billion out of gross Rs 6.18 billion.

The import stage refunds paid by the Sales Tax department by the 
end of October 1999, out of gross Rs 19.49 billion, were Rs 43 
million (in October Rs 14 million out of gross Rs 5.23 billion), 
while the domestically refunds by end October, out of gross Rs 
17.71 billion, were Rs 7.13 billion (in October Rs 1.6 billion out 
of gross Rs 4.71 billion).

Tribunal refuses to delay Hubco case
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Nov 5: A London based international arbitration tribunal 
has rejected Wapda's plea to delay a case filed by one of the major 
shareholders of Hubco for not implementing Power Purchase Agreement 

Informed sources told Dawn that Wapda's lawyers had on Thursday 
approached the International Arbitration Tribunal, set up on the 
request of the International Chamber of Commerce, and pleaded for 
delaying the hearing of the case filed by the Entergy Company of 
the United States.

Entergy is one of the claimants in the arbitration and since it is 
US based, Pakistani law do not apply on it as it applies on the Hub 
Power Company (Hubco) of Pakistan. Entergy has sought what was 
termed a "relief" in its differences with Water and Power 
Development Authority (Wapda) from the tribunal.

Sources said that Entergy asked the tribunal to force Wapda to get 
the PPA implemented so as to end the two year long row over tariff. 
The issue was first taken to the tribunal in July last.

Meanwhile, it has also been learnt that Hubco has expressed its 
willingness to undertake fresh negotiations with the military 
government to resolve the tariff and other administrative matters 
with Wapda.

Sources said that Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz was expected to 
call on Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday to 
brief him about the IPPs problem with special reference to Hubco. 
Mr. Aziz is said to have told his officials in the ministry of 
finance that the unresolved issue of IPPs was a stumbling block to 
attract foreign investment in Pakistan.

Sources said that Hubco has also expressed its willingness to cut 
its power tariff beyond 0.75 per cent which was earlier offered to 
the previous government. Hubco termed it a "fallacy" that it was 
not ready to change the contract signed with Wapda. It said there 
were so many ways to resolve the problem, provided people at the 
helm of affairs stop suspecting the integrity of the company.

The company has conveyed to the relevant official quarters that the 
reputation of Hubco was badly damaged by the PML government which 
had repeatedly kept hurling at it the allegations of corruption.

"We are ready to look into the whole tariff issue but first restore 
our integrity. We do not know why have they painted us bad people", 
one of the senior officials of Hubco was quoted as having said to 
quarters close to army. "Let us sit in good faith and remove the 
FIA people from the Hubco premises", he said adding that FIA has 
not been removed from the Hubco offices despite repeated assurances 
by former minister for finance and commerce Ishaq Dar.

Sources said that Hubco has also conveyed to the military 
government that had it been involved in corrupt practices or got 
its power plant commissioned by paying kickbacks to Ms Benazir 
Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, something concrete would have come to 
light and presented in courts as proof against the company. 

 Moreover, they were told that one of the reputed chartered 
accountant firms - M/s Furgoson had failed to pin point any 
financial irregularity in the accounts of Hubco during the last one 
year. No report has been prepared by Furgoson against Hubco. 
Moreover, the senior officials of Hubco still have to keep bail 
papers 24 hours with them to avoid their arrest or harassment both 
by the police and the FIA.

Moreover, Hubco believed that 18pc rate of profit was reasonable to 
charge keeping in view many companies including Enercon which was 
charging over 20pc rate of return on their investment in Pakistan.

Fresh assessment of farm tax potential likely
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Nov 4: The military government has decided to 
substantially widen the tax base by stretching the General Sales 
Tax (GST) on the services sector.

Official sources told Dawn here on Thursday that a decision has 
been taken to urgently increase the number of tax-payers, besides 
recovering the General Sales Tax (GST) which has been imposed 
across the board on Wednesday. This 15 per cent GST will now be 
recovered from professionals as well including medical doctors, 
chartered accountants, consultants, lawyers etc.

The PML government could not impose GST on the services sector and 
the issue was left for the next financial year. "But now the 
services sector will have to pay this GST", a source said. 
According to Economic Survey for 1998-1999, services sector 
accounted for 49 per cent of total economy of Pakistan.

Sources said that concerned authorities have been directed to 
achieve at all cost the revised upward revenue collection target of 
Rs 380 billion during 1999-2000.

The military rulers have been told that without meeting the IMF 
conditionalities and its reform programme, Pakistan would not get 
the next tranche of 280 million dollars, out of 1.6 billion dollar 

The IMF officials have said that tax enforcement should be 
strengthened with a view to increasing the number of tax-payers 
from the existing 1.5 million to about 2 million before the end of 
the current financial year.

Similarly, the decision was taken to recover about Rs 3 billion as 
part of the tax on agriculture income during the current financial 
year. "Also a decision has been taken to assess afresh the real 
potential of tax on agriculture income which could initially be in 
the range of Rs 12 to 15 billion annually", a source said.

He said that minister for finance and commerce Shaukat Aziz would 
soon be convening a high-level meeting to discuss proposals for 
increasing revenues and enhancing tax on agriculture income.

Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have 
been calling upon the previous governments to effectively tax the 
landed gentry in Pakistan. But no success could be achieved as 
every time these government dragged their feet.

Tax exemption demanded for senior citizens

SUKKUR, Nov 3: President Sukkur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 
Khalid Mehmood Khan, in a press statement on Tuesday demanded that 
the federal government should announce tax exemption for persons 
above the age of 65 years who were paying taxes regularly.

This demand Khan made in his telegrams to the then finance minister 
and chairman Central Board of Revenue against withdrawal of 50 per 
cent rebate allowed to senior citizens aged 65 years or above 
provided under clause (IV) of provision (b) para 1 of the first 
schedule to Income Tax Ordinance 1979 under USAS. 

 He said this decision was quite against the provisions of Income 
Tax Ordinance and Act and hence unfair and unjustified.

He, therefore, urged the newly appointed finance minister, Mr 
Shaukat Aziz to restore this rebate facilities to senior citizens 
under universal self-assessment scheme also as provided in Income 
Tax Ordinance 1979.

ADB allocates Rs0.35m for farm growth

ISLAMABAD, Oct 31: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned 
$350,000 for the promotion of agriculture growth in Pakistan 
through policy and institutional reforms.

This was disclosed during a meeting of the Central Development 
Working Party (CDWP) here.

Official sources said the participants of the meeting were told by 
the secretary food, agriculture and livestock, Dr Zafar Altaf, that 
the ADB fund would also be used for the execution of a project 
"Agricultural Sector Strategy Studies."

The project will also assist government in developing a master plan 
for farm sector (2000-2010) which will form the basis for policy 
reforms and in developing a new farm sector strategy.

This study project will also support selective activities of the 
private sector, NGOs and self help farmers and other groups.

To a question, sources said the cost of conducting the study had 
been estimated at $250,000 (ADB grant for Pakistan) and 

implementation of recommendation is envisaged to cost $100,000 (ADB 
loan to Pakistan).

Sources said the basic objective of this study was to identify 
constraints impeding the growth in agriculture and corresponding 
strategies to achieve sustained and cost- effective output.

The scope of the study covers need assessment, master plan 
development for medium (2005) and long term policy reforms (2010) 
package, sources said.

Giving brief background of this project, sources said public sector 
should confine its role to regulation, research and extension. They 
added that all the commercial production and trading activities be 
entrusted to private sector.

The natural monopolies such as rivers, canals and water courses be 
managed through stockholders association in participatory manner. 
The government must remove all subsidies and refrain from creating 
market distortions through support price, purchase etc, sources 

Sources said there was need to improve competitiveness in 
agriculture via training/ education, quality control and creating 
awareness amongst growers and consumers by organizing fairs, 
exhibitions etc.

The project envisaged that the research should be market driven. 
The growers, industry and research tripartite working arrangement 
be developed.

Pakistan for SAARC moot on schedule, says FO
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Nov 1: Pakistan has welcomed the Sri Lankan statement 
that the Saarc summit should be held on schedule in Kathmandu this 

The foreign minister of Pakistan, conveying his appreciation to the 
foreign minister of Sri Lanka, said his country shared the Sri 
Lankan view that a deviation from the Saarc charter and practices, 
particularly with regard to non-interference in the internal 
affairs of states, would have serious and damaging consequences for 
the progress, prosperity, peace and security of South Asia.

Earlier, the Sri Lankan had issued an statement regarding 
speculations in the media concerning the impact of recent 
developments in Pakistan on the convening of the forthcoming Saarc 
summit, a foreign office statement said.

There is no provision in the Saarc charter for postponement of the 
association's conferences on grounds of political changes in a 
member-state. Nor a summit has ever been deferred for this reason 
since the inception of Saarc in the last fourteen years, the FO 

A postponement of the summit would, therefore, be inconsistent with 
the charter, violate the principle of decision-making by unanimity 
and set an unfortunate precedent for individual members to serve 
their narrow interests to the detriment of the prospects of 
advancement of regional cooperation, the FO added.

Back to the top

Storming of the Supreme Court
Ardeshir Cowasjee

"LEMMING: noun - A small short-tailed thickset rodent related to 
the voles; a person who unthinkingly joins a mass-movement, 
especially a headlong rush to destruction."

On October 27, fourteen lemmings of the PML species awoke from 
their slumber and issued to the press the following statement 
addressed to their fellow citizens. The fourteen were : Syed Fakhr 
Imam, Mian Mohammad Azhar, Mansoor Hayat Tamman, Khurshid Mahmud 
Kasuri, Shahzada Mohiuddin, Colonel Ghulam Sarwar Cheema, Syed 
Sajjad Haider, Nasir Baloch, Chaudhry Ashraf, Hamza, Sikandar Hayat 
Malhi, Mian Abdul Waheed, Syed Shabbir Shah, and Syeda Abida 
Hussain. The text of their statement :

"We, the undersigned Members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, 
who had prepared and communicated the attached memorandum for 
former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on August 11, 1999, have 
reassembled today, under deeply sobering and altered circumstances, 
to discuss the causes which led to the debacle of October 12, 1999. 
It is our considered view that what had obtained circumstantially 
was a total collapse of institutional checks and balances. In a 
parliamentary system of government, for effective decision-making, 
checks must be made other than by the Opposition, by the Ruling 
Party as a whole, by the parliamentary party and by the Cabinet. 
Since all of these checks had been progressively and seriously 
undermined, the PML workers, office bearers and Members of 
Parliament are today faced with a formidable challenge to deal 
sagaciously and effectively with the prevailing situation.

"We, the undersigned, therefore affirm before all members of the 
Pakistan Muslim League and the people of our country that we will 
first and foremost ensure that in the future adequate checks and 
balances will be created within the party organization as a defence 
against arbitrary decision-making and to prevent a polity which 
tampers with the institutions of State.

"We hereby also make public the memorandum prepared and 
communicated by us in August 1999 to the former prime minister to 
share with the people of our country the direction of our thoughts. 
While supporting across-the-board accountability, we would urge 
that this process not be limited to politicians alone and that any 
kind of victimization be scrupulously avoided. The Pakistan Muslim 
League has almost a hundred years of history behind it, during 
which this party has survived many upheavals.

"As Muslim Leaguers, we affirm our resolve to remain united, and 
call for the Parliamentary Party to meet as soon as possible for 
further debate and decisions. We urge the authorities to make their 
intervention as brief as possible to put Pakistan back on track as 
a democratic State by restoring the suspended Parliament and the 
Constitution of Pakistan."

The memorandum to which they refer, written to their former leader, 
listed most of the things that had gone disastrously wrong since he 
came in for his second round: the economy, the post-Kargil 
situation, international relations, agriculture, the IPPs etc., 
etc. They clearly indicated that they felt it was all swiftly 
slipping away, and, worried about their jobs, they suggested that 
the leader do something about it, and in double-time.

I questioned two of the signatories to the press release to whom I 
have access, Syed Fakhr Imam and the non-roaring Khurshid, son of 
Tiger Kasuri.

Q.1 : "Total collapse of institutional checks and balances" Does 
this include the most important institutional pillar, the 

A.1 : Of course.

Q.2 : "... in future to prevent a polity which tampers with the 
institutions of State". By this you mean that the institutions of 
State have in the past been tampered with?

A.2 : You know better.

Q.3 : What did you do when members of your party stormed the 
Supreme Court on November 28, 1997?

A.3 : Uh uh hmm uh mmm.

Q.4 : "Whilst supporting across-the-board accountability we would 
urge that this process not be limited to politicians alone ... ". 
Would you like the judiciary to be also accountable?

A.4 : Naturally. Everybody.

Where were these supporters of democracy when their leader pushed 
through Parliament the 13th and 14th Constitutional Amendments, 
suspending the rules of procedure and disallowing any debate? Why 
did they only awaken when their livelihood was at stake?

As for the storming of the Supreme Court, the matter remains very 
much alive. On May 14, 1999 the Bench of three judges - Justices 
Nasir Aslam Zahid, Munawar Ahmad Mirza and Abdur Rahman Khan - 
found themselves unable to convict any man of having committed 
contempt in the face of the court by storming the Supreme Court of 
Pakistan. On May 19, journalist Shahid Orakzai filed a petition in 
the Supreme Court against the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Group) 
and Others, inter alia, pleading that -

".... the proceedings conducted by a full bench headed by Mr Nasir 
Aslam Zahid were coram no judice as they violated the rules of the 
Court as well as the Constitution of Pakistan ... The first 
betrayal surfaced when the wrong-hand of the Prime Minister, 
Senator Saifur Rahman, was intriguingly excluded from the list of 
respondents though the inquiry had pinpointed his role in 
obstructing the Court by ordering the policemen not to block the 
entry of rowdy supporters of the Prime Minister ...

This petition was heard by Chief Justice Ajmal Mian and Justices 
Saiduzzaman Siddiqui, Irshad Hasan Khan, Raja Afrasiab Khan and 
Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri on June 14, 1999, and the full bench of 
five ordered:

"This criminal original petition has been filed under Rule 1 and 7 
of Order XXVII of the Supreme Court Rules 1980 for initiating 
contempt of court proceedings de novo in respect of rowdyism, which 
had taken place on 28/11/97 at the Supreme Court premises, inter 
alia, on the ground that the bench which heard the case was not 
properly constituted as it was not headed by the Chief Justice. In 
view of the Full Bench judgment of this Court in the case of 
Muhammad Ikram Chaudhary and Others v. Federation of Pakistan and 

Others, reported in PLD 1998 SC 103, the judgment rendered by a 
Bench of this Court on 14/5/99 in the above contempt case cannot be 
reviewed through the above original criminal petition on the above 
ground or on any other ground. We would therefore convert this 
petition into an appeal and direct the office to treat it as such 
and issue notice to the respondents, the Attorney-General for 
Pakistan, and the persons against whom the charges were framed."

On October 28 1999, Orakzai filed an application "for immediate 
hearing of Cr. Appeal No.162 of 1999, inter alia, asking -

"That while the rowdies and vandals who hurled abuses at the court 
in the most vulgar language and called the Chief Justice of 
Pakistan a 'kutta' right inside the principal seat of this Court 
are still enjoying their time and roaming around freely ... That 
the said appeal relates to the most serious and contumacious of 
contempt ever committed in the judicial history and is prior in 
time to other contempt matters pending before the Court as well as 
raises issues far more serious than other cases ... . Therefore, 
this appeal be given the due priority guaranteed by the 
Constitution and the Rules of this Court."

The new Samaritans
Ayaz Amir 

I remember discussing with a group of friends in Chakwal General 
Zia's promise to hold elections in 90 days and relinquish power. 
This was in September 1977. Most of us were of the opinion that 
having made such a pledge before the whole world, Zia would have to 
stick to it.

One Syed Anwar Shah, then patwari of Chakwal, also happened to be 
with us. He quietly listened to our discourse and when we had 
finished he said that when the patwariship of Chakwal, a lucrative 
assignment, fell vacant he and another person joined the race to 
fill it. Both of them pulled what strings they could, from the 
commissioner in Rawalpindi to the Board of Revenue in Lahore. 
Ultimately the matter was settled in Anwar Shah's favour by the 
Chief Secretary of Punjab.

The question which Patwari Anwar Shah put to us was this: if he and 
his competitor could go to such lengths to secure a gift as 
relatively small as that of the patwarkhana of Chakwal, were we in 
our senses to think that anyone holding the nation's destiny in his 
hands would quit so easily and retire to his farm in the 

When I remember this it does not take General Pervez Musharraf's 
pronounced lack of clarity on the question of a time-frame for the 
restoration of democracy to tell me that he will not be in a hurry 
to go away. If renunciation and self-abnegation are not qualities 
associated with the patwaris of Chakwal, how much less so with 
patriarchs in the Latin American sense of the word?

Whether we like it or not, General Musharraf, to the roll of 
muffled drums, now joins the pantheon of Pakistan's patriarchs, a 
hall of fame where shrouded in gloom sit the uneasy busts of his 
predecessors, generals Ayub, Yahya and Zia. To his good fortune, he 
joins this select company with an easy conscience, his mind not 
troubled with the weight of any dark conspiracy. He is in a 
position to say that what has come to pass he did not seek. It was 
forced upon him by events set in motion by the amazing stupidity of 
that ironmonger and his clan who were placed over our heads by a 
mocking destiny. It will be some time before this excuse starts 
wearing thin.

But the question of greater interest to the somewhat bemused 
citizens of the Islamic Republic is now not so much how these 
events were enacted as how the future is likely to unfold. Will new 
ground be broken or, as in a nightmare, are we doomed to revisit 
the haunts of the past?

General Musharraf's optimism notwithstanding, the sad-looking and 
tired crew recruited thus far for his ship - Pirzada, Attiya 
Enayatullah et al - holds little promise that we are about to sail 
into the sun. As for the past, it too is hardly reassuring.

Military interventions in Pakistan have always followed a certain 
genetic code. In the beginning they exude a sense of vitality and 
vigour. Public expectations are high and there is talk of reform in 
the air. Politicians as a class are reviled and stories of their 
ineptitude and corruption are laid bare. Then as time passes 
military rule mutates into a hybrid democracy with a section of the 
political class becoming willing tools of the new dispensation. 
This was the pattern both under Ayub and Zia. Yahya who came in 
between had not the time for it because he was busy presiding over 
the break-up of Pakistan. 		

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and then, a political generation later, Benazir 
Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were products of the mutant and distorted 
democracy growing out of military rule. Bhutto senior was a product 
of the Ayub regime; Nawaz Sharif and his Muslim League the most 
outstanding political products of the Zia regime. In blaming these 
knights for their failures, and there is no doubt their failures 
have been conspicuous and enormous, the army cannot absolve itself 
of a large share of the blame.

When it plays the role of genetic and biological scientist it 
cannot disclaim responsibility for the mutant species issuing forth 
from its laboratories. One of the more memorable lines spoken by 
General Musharraf since seizing power is that he would not like to 
see a return to any "sham" democracy. Does he not realize that 
military rule, especially when prolonged, can deliver only a "sham" 
democracy? If a sapling is deliberately stunted, how can it grow 
into a healthy plant?

Now once again Pakistan finds itself in the throes of another 
political experiment presided over by yet another military figure 
who is asking his countrymen to suspend disbelief, take everything 
on trust and pay no heed to the past. Where this experiment might 
lead or what political species it ends up producing we do not know.

What is certain is that across the political spectrum there is a 
great vacuum created by the comprehensive manner in which the 
political class and its two fountainheads, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir 

Bhutto, have discredited themselves. A plague upon both your 
houses: this is the public attitude towards them. Into this vacuum 
has marched the army but far from helping to clear the mist, its 
action has added to the sum of national disquiet. The reason: 
despite the rhetoric we are hearing and the brave face being put on 
events, the army too seems vague about how to cut through the 
thicket of confusion besetting the nation's path. More than any 
other kind of bankruptcy, this is a bankruptcy of ideas.

Examples of confusion: APP quotes General Musharraf as saying (1) 
"once we analyze the situation at the grassroots level, districts 
would be made autonomous bodies... (controlling) their own destiny, 
education, medical, communication and whatever they want;" and (2) 
"the days of the British era are gone when the government 
functionaries were put there to control and subjugate the people... 
the people are supreme, the government functionaries must be made 
subservient to (them)."

Resonant words but steeped in simplicity. How can he be sure that 
once the situation at the grass-roots' level is analyzed, the 
automatic conclusion would be that districts should be made 
"autonomous" in the manner he speaks of? Why not wait for the 
analysis before jumping the gun? There is a crying need to improve 
the administration of justice (the bedrock of a modern state) and 
to make the writ of the state more effective so that laws are not 
only passed but also enforced. But first there is a need to 
understand the problem. How would an armyman react if a civilian 
knowing nothing of military matters were to talk of corps and 
divisional re-organization?

Much the same holds true for the perfunctory reference to the 
British era. In Pakistan blaming colonialism for all our ills is 
the last refuge of ignorance. Why do we forget that the 
codification of laws, the rule of law and the institutionalization 
of merit as the basis of advancement and preferment were ideas 
brought into the subcontinent by the British, ideas largely alien 
to our own history and which we have done our best to roll back. 
Any serious attempt at administrative reform will have to cut 
through the corruption and mayhem of the last 50 years and start 
from where the British left off. A soldier at least should be able 
to understand this point better because to the extent that the 
army, organized totally on British lines, has retained its cohesion 
and professionalism, it has done so by jealously guarding and not 
doing away with the ethos and traditions of the old British Indian 

Another example of confusion: the Punjab governor paying a surprise 
visit to a thana and being appalled by conditions obtaining there. 
In the first flush of enthusiasm high-ranking officials are 
invariably tempted to act as school, hospital and thana inspectors. 
They forget that while such inspections are useful, of far greater 
importance is the need for institutional reform - a need postponed 
for the last 52 years.

Tailpiece: In a nation where self-promotion has been developed into 
an art form, one of the greatest self-promoters of all must be 

newly-appointed envoy to the UK, Akbar S. Ahmed. The picture of him 
in the papers talking to the Chief Executive is a classic. While 
the CE looks slightly bewildered, Akbar Ahmed is caught in 
pontificating mode. The question is: was Akbar Ahmed already known 
to the CE or did someone recommend him? Either way one must hand it 
to the high commissioner-designate for a job well done.

In-laws and outlaws
Irfan Husain

HAVING suggested to the army that its national agenda be kept 
short, I was not planning to add to that advice. But meanwhile a 
long conversation with a senior serving army officer gave me much 
food for thought.

He agreed that the army had no panacea for the country's many ills 
and should not stay any longer than necessary. "However", he 
continued. 'You have suggested that the revival of the economy 
should be one of the two main points on our agenda, and have gone 
on to say that law and order is a prerequisite to rescuing the 
economy. But how can law and order be restored when criminals 
accused of the most vicious offences are arrested and released on 
bail; when cases take years to come to court, and after an initial 
hearing, the case then drags on forever because the litigants are 
permitted to use the most blatant dilatory tactics; and when 
allegations of corruption are rife?"

He went on to argue that virtually every area of our lives is 
affected by the judiciary, and the public perception is that there 
is one set of laws for the poor, and another one for the rich and 
the powerful. So, he continued, how can any problem be solved 
without first carrying out a reform of the judicial system? 
"Accountability is a major public demand, but after nearly three 
years, Asif Zardari has neither been convicted nor acquitted of any 
of the charges he is facing; the one case in which he was convicted 
is now under appeal in the Supreme Court. Most ordinary cases, 
especially those involving property, drag on for years."

I have often thought about this problem, as I am sure many other 
Pakistanis have. Take the revolting case of judicial killings as an 
example. Scores of prisoners accused of violent crimes have been 
allegedly gunned down in cold blood by the police in crudely 
fabricated "encounters." This is a common occurrence in Sindh and 
Punjab and has been regularly criticized by human rights activists 
and the media here and abroad. And yet this gruesome practice 
persists as a normal policing tool.

When I ask my friends in the police service why they don't put an 
end to this evil, they point out that some alleged killers have 
been arrested as many as twenty times, only to be let off on bail 
each time. This is even truer of terrorists when their political 
parties and patrons threaten judges. According to a senior police 
officer, if these alleged criminals had not met their sordid ends, 
but been released yet again on bail, Pakistan would have been a 
more violent country than it already is.

Talk to the judges and you get a different story. For starters, 
most police investigations are limited to torturing a suspect and 
extorting a confession. Forensic science is largely a mystery to 
the police, and fingerprinting, a technique developed a century 
ago, is still not widely used here. Photographic evidence and the 
intricacies of detection have yet to be introduced. According to 
the police, they don't get enough funds. But surely they could have 
made a start. And far too often, a police case rests on the sworn 
testimony of police witnesses. These worthies appear in scores of 
different cases, perjuring themselves in each one. Often they 
appear before the same judge who, although forced to accept this 
tainted testimony despite his reservations, gives the suspect the 
benefit of the doubt.

Then there is the tendency among our people to go to court for 
anything and everything. During Benazir Bhutto's last stint, a 
gentleman moved the Lahore High Court to challenge the government's 
appointment of Mr Wajid Shamsul Hasan as our high commissioner to 
the United Kingdom. In his petition, he put forward the plea that 
he was better qualified for that post. The court accepted this 
petition for a formal hearing, and the Foreign Office was directed 
to defend its appointment. Now the same person has moved a similar 
plea against this government's nominee for the post, Akbar S. 
Ahmad. One would have imagined that with such a huge backlog of 
pending cases, our courts would be stricter in deciding which cases 
they will hear.

Our lawyers are in the habit of accepting far more cases than they 
can handle with the result that they are often supposed to be in 
two different courts on the same day. Since even our legal wizards 
cannot manage this feat, they use their connections and a small 
part of their (usually tax-free) legal fees to persuade court 
registrars to change the date of their appearance. This causes an 
endless prolongation of cases. Instead of cracking down on this 
practice, our judiciary has accepted it as a part of the system. 
Often, lawyers are not prepared and thus ask the judge for a 
postponement. Even more often, it is in the litigant's interest to 
postpone a decision indefinitely and this will be his brief to his 

When he was presiding over an anti-terrorist court, my military 
interlocutor said he did not allow any postponement for any reason, 
and if a defendant's lawyer did not appear for any reason, he was 
given the option of accepting a court-appointed and officially paid 
lawyer. If this approach were made mandatory, the entire machinery 
would be speeded up.

Another problem with the system is the shortage of judges at 
different levels. Time and again, successive chief justices have 
drawn the executive's attention to this gap. And this brings us to 
the issue of judicial independence. Much has been written about 
this vexing question, and nobody I know has been against this 
concept in principle. But its implementation has been beyond the 
abilities and will of successive governments. It is true that with 

the criteria for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary now 
established as legal precedent, many anomalies have been removed. 
Nevertheless, it is not certain that independence will guarantee 
that the system will be more efficient and honest.

Living as we do in a society where merit is at a discount and 
sifarish is essential for advancement, it is difficult to see how 
members of the judiciary can be totally cut off from this system. 
Transfers and promotions are often in the hands of bureaucrats and 
politicians, as are jobs for sons and sons-in-law. And when you ask 
for favours, you have to be prepared to do them as well.

In this brief article, I have described just the tip of the 
iceberg. The question is who will reform the system? Politicians in 
power have no incentive to bring about sweeping changes. But if the 
army sets about doing it, they will be unable to return to the 
barracks in my lifetime. We should remember what the Duke of 
Wellington said when asked to give his opinion on a proposed 
reform: "Reform? Reform? Aren't things bad enough already?"

Pakistan take on Australia in first Test today

BRISBANE, Nov 4: The Rawalpindi Express may have been put off 
limits by the management but Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram says 
Shoaib Akhtar is ready to fire in Friday's opening cricket Test 
with Australia here.

Shoaib, a naturally outgoing person who publicly stated he would 
break the 100 miles per hour (160kph) barrier this season, has been 
gagged by Pakistani team management after a harrowing week that saw 
the legality of his bowling action questioned.

Pakistan manager Yawar Saeed has banned his players from talking to 
the media before the Test, but Shoaib Akhtar was quoted in a Sydney 
newspaper on Thursday as defending his bowling action.

Akram put some ginger into the Test buildup when he declared that 
Shoaib, who has 28 wickets from 10 Tests, is the best bowler in the 

"He (Shoaib) is the best bowler in the world and he's going to show 
it in the Test match, we don't have to say much about him because 
he's going to perform and we will talk about his performance," 
Akram said on Thursday.

"Nothing's going to make him think about his action or anything, 
he's going to bowl normally, he's the sort of bloke who nothing 
bothers him much.

"He wants to enjoy his cricket and I told him 'enjoy your cricket 
and we'll look after you, stay away from the press and you can just 
perform with the ball out there, and answer them back'."

Akram also predicted Pakistan would win the three-match series.

Australia, to be led by Steve Waugh, have never lost a Test series 
against Pakistan at home but Akram, playing his 89th Test, said 
that was about to change. -AFP/Reuters


Akhtar Rasool resigns from PHF presidentship

LAHORE, Nov 4: Akhtar Rasool Chaudhary, the President of the 
Pakistan Hockey Federation, has resigned from the office on 
personal grounds.

"After careful consideration I have decided to quit on personal 
reasons", Akhtar Rasool said in an exclusive interview here on 

Akhtar, who served PHF as President for three years and as many 
months, said since he was no more in the government and thinks that 
he was nor more useful to serve as the chief of the PHF.

Akhtar was elected President first time for almost one year term in 
1997 followed by his second election last year in August and his 
tenure was to be expired in year 2002.

"I do not want to stick to the post if I am not in a position to 
serve or support the PHF or to raise funds and I have taken this 
decision in the larger interest of the game", he said.

Akhtar Rasool said he did his best with honesty, devotion and 
dedication for the promotion of hockey after taking over a broken 
team due to a revolt before 1996 Atlanta Olympic and a financially 
crunched PHF. "Now When I am leaving, to team is showing signs of 
progress and performance and Rs 15 million are in the kitty of the 
PHF", he said.

He said it takes years to build a balanced side in today's world of 
modern hockey and scientific approach to the game and it is really 
hard to generate money from private sector without relying on 

"It was our achievement that we generated adequate sponsorship from 
our own resources besides ensuring maximum participation of senior 
and junior teams in international tournaments ", he said.

Akhtar said from 1997 to 99 the Pakistan teams took part in 
altogether 14 international events which is a record and 12 PHF 
spent Rs 60 million for the promotion of hockey.

"We ensured that the teams should play against top teams of the 
world instead putting them against weaker teams and through this 
senior and junior teams earned the valuable experience of 
competitive hockey ",he said.

Former Pakistan Captain PHF admitted that during his tenure the 
team earned less victories because it was in the process of re-
building and re-shaping.

He said coming and going of people is in an institution is a 
continuous process and efforts should be made to strengthen 
institutions not individuals.Akhtar thanked congress and council 
members of the PHF for electing him President twice and extending 
him cooperation and help for running the affairs of the hockey 
federation smoothly.

Akhtar Rasool said no matter he was more the President of PHF but 
offered his services for the cause of hockey.

"If I could be useful for hockey in any way my doors are always 
open for everyone", he said.-APP

Video footage of Shoaib has no official status: ACB

BRISBANE, Nov 3: Australian Cricket Board (ACB) chief executive 
Malcolm Speed ended the Shoaib Akhtar chucking affair with a brief 
telephone call to Pakistani manager Yawar Saeed on Wednesday.

A 20-minute video tape of Akhtar's action sent by umpires Ross 
Emerson and Terry Prue arrived in the ACB's morning mail but Speed 
told Yawar the matter could go no further.

The match in question, Western Australia versus Pakistan at Perth 
last Wednesday, was not sanctioned by the International Cricket 
Council (ICC) so there was no official referee.

The fact that Emerson and Prue failed to query Akhtar's action in 
their match report, only becoming suspicious while watching 
television highlights the next day, meant the ACB was unable to 
involve the ICC's nine-man throwing committee.

"Malcolm Speed told me he had received the tape and he had watched 
it," Yawar said.

"He told me the tape had no official status and as far as he and I 
are concerned, it is all over now and we can look forward to a 
great Test series."

Australia's new coach John Buchanan was unhappy the issue had been 

"I think it does more of a disservice to cricket than anything 
else," he said.

"It certainly disturbs the individual no matter who it is, I'm sure 
(Muttiah) Muralitharan would say the same thing," he said referring 
to the Sri Lankan spinner, whose action has been under intense 
scruntiny for a number of years - particularly in Australia.

Emerson sparked a furore last summer when he called Muralitharan 
for chucking in a on-day game against England, prompting Sri Lankan 
captain Arjuna Ranatunga to lead his players off the field in 

AUSTRALIANS UNDER-ACHIEVERS: Australia have been under-achieving in 
the Test arena since winning the Ashes against England here last 
summer, Buchanan said.

Steve Waugh's incumbency as Test skipper has realised a 2-2 series 
draw with the West Indies and retention of the Frank Worrell Trophy 
in the Caribbean, a waterlogged 1-0 loss in Sri Lanka and a one-off 
win over Zimbabwe in Harare late last month.

Winning the World Cup in England last June took the heat off the 
Australians but Buchanan, who introduced himself to his players on 
Tuesday night after taking over from Geoff Marsh, said better 
results in Tests were attainable.

Buchanan, a Queenslander, walked onto the Gabba for the first time 
in his new role on Wednesday to read a sign on the giant video 
screen: "Congratulations and good luck John Buchanan, Australian 

"You couldn't say they are not a successful side, they have got the 
trophies to say that, but they would be the first to admit they 
could be doing more than what they have done," Buchanan said.

"As a group we talked about that last night. There are some goals 
we can set ourselves, not just the team but the squad and that will 
carry into the way the (Australian) states develop their players as 

"So we have something pictured three or four years down the track."

Buchanan told the players he was proud to be a part of their tight-
knit group and told them it would take "the next few months" for 
everybody to get to know each other.

A major problem for Australia this calendar year has been its top-
order batting, which has relied too much on captain Steve Waugh and 
lately No.6 Ricky Ponting.

"We'll have a much better appreciation of where we stand batting-
wise at the end of these six Test matches" against Pakistan and 
India, Buchanan said.

"If the players are playing well it's one of the most potent 
batting sides in the world, we just have to wait and see how they 
are performing against good quality attacks, different types of 
attacks from both countries."

Buchanan is making his Test debut but more attention will be on new 
wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, whom Shane Warne said could compile a 
Test record as good as Ian Healy, his predecessor.

Gilchrist is unsure what type of reception he will get from a Gabba 
crowd who would rather be saying goodbye to Healy, and Buchanan has 
appealed for support for Gilchrist.

"Heals has been just a fantastic servant for Queensland and 
Australia for so long and I know he himself certainly wouldn't like 
to see that," Buchanan said of an indifferent reception for 

MCGRATH HONOURED: Fast bowler Glenn McGrath's destruction of 
England's Ashes challenge last summer helped him be named Wisden's 
Australian Cricketer of the Year on Wednesday.

He edged out captain Steve Waugh for the prestigious prize 
primarily because of his 24 wickets against England last summer and 
a big-hearted 30 victims during only four Tests in the West Indies.

McGrath, who lived in a caravan when he started playing grade 
cricket in Sydney, is a modest man and was thrilled by the 
recognition from the cricketing bible.

"To be named cricketer of the year in a team like the Australian 
team at the moment is a pretty big buzz," said McGrath, who has 244 
wickets from 53 Tests.-AFP

Waugh hits back at Akram's comments

SYDNEY, Oct 31: Australia captain Steve Waugh on Sunday dismissed 
criticism by his Pakistan counterpart Wasim Akram of the itinerary 
for the early part of their tour of Australia, saying they were 
"pretty stupid".

Akram said last week he was unhappy with a tour schedule which gave 
Pakistan just one first-class and two one-day matches leading into 
the three-Test series which starts in Brisbane next Friday.

Waugh, who will be leading Australia in a home series for the first 
time, described Akram's comments over the itinerary as "pretty 
stupid really".

"They were playing a one-day tournament in Sharjah (beforehand), so 
it's their choice what they want to do," he told reporters.

"I think he must have forgotten about what all the other touring 
sides do when they tour other countries as well.

"We had one game in Sri Lanka and one game in Pakistan. That's the 
nature of cricket these days. You're not going to have long tours 
so I would have thought he would be used to that by now."

Pakistan are currently playing a four-day match against Queensland 
in Brisbane.

Waugh said the usually crucial opening session of a Test series 
would take on even more importance this time because of the bouncy 
'Gabba wicket in Brisbane and Pakistan's absence from the Test 
scene recently.

He said team who dominated the first session generally won the 
first day and the first Test and also the series.

"That's how important it is first up and more so against these 
guys," Waugh said.

The Australian skipper also rejected a suggestion in a Sydney 
newspaper article that he was frustrated and operating in the 
shadow of former captain Mark Taylor, following comments he made in 
an article in a domestic cricket publication.

"You can read into it whatever you want but what I am saying is 
basically Mark (Taylor) was an excellent batsman, he hit 19 Test 
centuries and averaged 45 yet no one recognises him as a batsman 
these days. It's all about the captaincy," he said.-Reuters

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